Training Center
Experience Cleantech: Power Electronic Devices with Heat

Estimated completion time:

2 hours & 0 minutes

Provided by:



Jocelyn Graf and Ricardo Alonzo


Did you know that the excess heat from a car’s engine or even the heat from the sun can be converted to electrical energy? A small device called a thermocouple converts a temperature difference between two elements into electricity. Energy is lost in the form of heat radiating from elements such as a car’s engine block or exhaust pipe, but we can capture some of the heat energy to power other systems. Converting energy to heat can be useful in emergency situations where we need to generate small amounts of electricity to power a mobile phone or create a makeshift flashlight. In this course we will learn how to create a basic energy conversion mechanism that converts heat into a voltage potential, capable of charging a mobile phone.

Experience Cleantech workshops are designed to be accessible to the general public. Each workshop presents a concept related to energy efficiency or resource conservation. If you have toured the Advanced Prototyping Center and wish you could try a hands-on project in the labs, these courses are for you. Advanced Prototyping Center members get a 25% discount on the workshop fee.
(Note: This instructor is English-Spanish bilingual.)

1 Lesson


What is a thermocouple?